ISLAMABAD: Facebook has removed 118 Facebook and Instagram accounts, groups and pages allegedly linked to Russia for “Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior”. This was shared by Facebook in its recent blog post.
According to Facebook, all these accounts were part of two separate and unconnected operations that originated from Russia. The company emphasised that they were removed not for their content but for their behavior.
One network identified and removed for inauthentic behavior included 62 Facebook accounts, 25 groups and 10 pages. At least 34000 accounts followed one or more of these pages and around 86000 accounts were part of these groups. A meager US$1 was spent on advertisements.
According to Facebook, “these accounts frequently posted about local and political news including topics like the military conflict in Eastern Ukraine, Russian politics, political news in Europe, politics in Ukraine and the Syrian civil war.”
The company further noted: “individuals behind this activity operated fake accounts to run Pages and Groups, disseminate their content, and increase engagement, and also to drive people to an off-platform domain that aggregated various web content”.
Another network identified and removed included 16 Facebook accounts, four pages and one Instagram account. They also emanated from Russia and focused on Austria, the Baltics, Germany, Spain, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. 1100 accounts followed these pages and 80 accounts followed the Instagram account.
According to Facebook: “The individuals behind this campaign — which was also active on other internet platforms — engaged in a number of deceptive tactics, including the use of fake accounts to join Groups, impersonate other users and to amplify allegations about a public figure working on behalf of intelligence services. They also posted content about local politics including topics like immigration, religious issues and NATO.”